ReactOS The Perfect Windows Alternate – Review and Installation

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Jesse Afolabi

I am an aspiring Linux Engineer, a tech writer on thedroidreview and tecmint, I also love to dance and you can find me on YouTube - be sure to subscribe.

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24 Responses

  1. ghd says:

    possible to run this os tog. with linix 17.3, i.e. in dual-boot mode?

    • Jesse says:

      yes ofc, but you have to put into consideeration that the OS is still in alpha so you probably dont want to put it on a system that you have important stuff on. so i recommned you back up your data first before proceeding..to be on the safe side

  2. Wasim says:

    Hi.. I tried tio give a test of this OS in Virtual Machine but it throwing error like setup could not find a Hard disk..Can any one help me out of this..

    Thanks in advance

    • Jesse says:

      Hi Wasim, in the process of creating a profile for ROS, you couldn’t possibly have missed the part where you create a virtual drive…check again under settings>storage to see if you have a virtual drive present, if not, you can create one right there…

    • Johannes says:

      If you provide more details-yes. The information you provided is insufficient though. What platform are you on, what kind of machine, what virtualisation software have you been using and what are the exact steps you took?

  3. jelabarre59 says:

    ReactOS had been the perfect opportunity for all those big companied to get off the MSWin treadmill when MSWinXP was killed off in 2014. I mean, these companies had plenty of advance warning about it, and had they put plenty of money and programming resources into it starting 2011 or thereabouts, they might have had a viable replacement for XP when it died. But no, all those cowardly MBA-run companies continued to kiss Microsoft’s afterparts. At this rate, ReactOS will reach full XP-compatability in about 15 years.

    • Johannes says:

      The problem is: ROS wasn’t ready in 2014 and it probably won’t be for many years to come – if ever

    • Jesse says:

      I don’t suppose full XP compatibility is that far off considering that ReactOS recently gained more support from governmental bodies and the likes to speed up the development process of OS…so give it time, I honestly feel 10 is not too far off anymore….and also, considering the stability of 0.4, which is an alpha, ofc, 1.0 experience should sit somewhere around that of the solid WinXP experience (hopefully).

  4. askfor says:

    Let me ask one thing. Is there ANY Windows software ReactOS could run and Wine couldn’t ? I understand they share some code. Is there a practical value of ReactOS, or is it just “l’art pour l’art” ?

    • Jesse says:

      well yeah, you have to understand that Wine and similar software are basically emulators for the windows based apps on Linux….nothing is running natively…hence, your experience using these software solutions can be somewhat lacking in some areas…ReactOS, on the other hand, is the real deal as you can pretty much run any supported windows app on a ReactOS system natively with all the benefits and direct access to your PC’s hardware

  5. littlenoodles says:

    Does this run more Windows software than WINE does on Linux? If so, is it easy to run it as a VM under Linux? I would assume any improvements over WINE are being contributed back to the WINE devs – or taken back (ReactOS is open source, no?).

    • Jesse says:

      supposedly, considering that it has more under the hood technology that has been well optimized specifically for windows based apps. Yes, ReactOS is open source…so m sure they contribute some code back to the Wine project.

  6. Tom says:

    A little sickening, to be honest that anyone would WANT a Linux distro to look like Windows, and this is coming from a Windows 7 fan (for gaming) :-D

    • Jesse says:

      Actually, Tom it’s a distro built around the Windows NT technology and not the Linux kernel; it’s specifically meant for Windows enthusiasts that dislike the closed nature of the OS….ReactOS has no backdoors whatsoever and it’s completely open source hence, making it a free install for anyone that wants it..

  7. Bill Turner says:

    Yes I had a partition destroyed once and since then have stuck to Virtualbox for tryouts. Otherwise, I have to say I am fairly underwhelmed by it. After over 20 years of development I expected something – hmmm – better. For example, one cannot even move icons around on the desktop !!! I keep reasonably up to date with it using SVN so I see a considerable amount of change but very little shows at the user level. Also, I understand that 0.4 supports the ext4 FS so why don’t they use it as the system FS. Fat32 is really antique. Ext3/Ext4 have been around for ages, so why re-invent the wheel…Play with this OS but don’t use it for anything serious IMHO.

    • Jesse says:

      my guess is they’re trying to do things the windows way and not stray too far from what people (actual end users are fond of)…it’s not especially targeted at techies which I suppose is the reason why they haven’t added ext3/4 support for installation or it could just be that those filesystems just can’t or won’t work with an NT based OS .. ..or they haven’t figured it out?

      • Johannes says:

        Yes. this discussion has been around, and they definitely want to keep it as windows like as they possibly can, therefore they won’t use ext3/4 as native file system. And the ACL and permissions model of Ext3/4 is totally different from that of NTFS, therefore they do have a point. However, Windows itself is a moving target. In 20 years they haven’t even managed to replicate Windows NT, and Windows itself has moved on quite a bit. The most popular OS out there seems to be Windows 7, which they haven’t even started targeting. Compare that to Haiku OS, which seems like a perfect replication of BeOS and has, as far as I am concerned, never once crashed.

        • Jesse says:

          i agree with you Johannes, and true that; they’ve probably missed an opportunity hole right when XP support was about ending….i honestly dunno where they intend to position themselves in the software industry but there’s a likelihood that it might incorporate latest NT technologies (under the hood) in the future but not necessarily remain successful given MS imminent move to the cloud. They probably will just end up serving a niche crowd in the end.

  8. Johannes says:

    Reactos 0.4.0 fails to boot on every machine I tried. Actually, older versions worked better on real hardware than the current release, so I fail to share the enthusiasm. The current release even destroyed the partition table of one of my hard disks. Compared to other free OS its state must be touted pre-alpha at best.

    • Jesse says:

      worked for me tho..what tool did you use to copy the image to your drive? ..ReactOS recommends that you use Rufus to get it on a USB drive….Also, you probably wanna try downloading the LiveCD image and to see how well it works with your hardware before you proceed with installation (which requires the BootCD image). dont forget to check out their currently supported hardware too: https://www.reactos.org/wiki/Supported_Hardware

      • Johannes says:

        It’s not a matter of getting the installer CD image written to disk or USB stick. (I think I burned the image to CD using brasero.) It’s about misbehaviour of the installer. It should never touch the partition table silently. Also, I meanwhile found an old, unused hard disk and installed ROS 0.4.0 on it. On one of my machines, a thinkpad T 420 it actually booted, but I couldn’t get the network going. ROS obviously had no drivers, and the WinXP drivers offered by Lenovo failed to install. I tried on two other thinkpads (variants of SL510) and experienced boot failures, a Dell (Latitude E6420), which booted but didn’t to anything after that and a legacy PC, which immediately bluescreened during boot. Nothing of this is much of a problem if you face a hobbyist project which isn’t supposed to do anything, if you are just playing around, but it is a long way from becoming anything like a usable OS.

        • Jesse says:

          if you look at it, the ReactOS team was mostly short of active devs <100 ….that have contributed to the project over the past 20 twenty andthey havent had the most of funds either…when compared to MS windows, i can very well say there are thousands of PAID devs working tireless ly on the OS. Give it time;..now that they have a few sponsors, we'll see where they'll take it from it current state..

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